Posts Tagged KHL

Kovalchuk’s mom talks, the Fallout, Gonchar and Datsyuk were close to leaving and the KHL cap

  • Dmitry Chesnokov: SKA is denying they had a deal in place with Ilya Kovalchuk in January. Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport spoke with Kovalchuk’s mom, who was not surprised with what transpired.

    “I knew about it, to be honest. Of course Ilya discussed this matter with me. It was back in January when my son was thinking about staying with SKA. But he went back to New Jersey to finish the season. Everything had to be done in a civilized manner; all legal questions must have been resolved.”

    Is it true his salary was delayed by the Devils? [ed.: The question is unclear as it may be interpreted a number of ways]

    “Yes, it happened. Now, after the lockout, there are a lot of restrictions at all teams. They are also underpaid 20% [of their salary]. The League takes it as an escrow that may not be paid back if the NHL does not make profit. And then there’s government tax of 50%. That means on paper you are being paid $10 million a year, but in reality only 3. So the pendulum swung for Russia.”

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Kovalchuk fallout could be an isolated case.

    For now, this appears to be an isolated case. At least that has to be the hope, especially for teams built around a standout Russian player.

    When I asked one general manager Thursday evening if teams should be concerned, he admitted uncertainty.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “I would suspect this is a unique situation.”

    Another GM said the bigger impact will be in the draft, where he’d be less likely to use a top pick on a Russian player after Kovalchuk’s decision to leave for the KHL. And if teams aren’t using top picks on the best Russian players, there’s even less motivation for them to come to the NHL. The NHL might not be losing its biggest stars now, but the eventual problem might be that the stars never go to North America in the first place.

  • Alexander Zaytsev: Sergei Gonchar and Pavel Datsyuk were close to leaving the NHL for the KHL is summer according the GM of Metallurg.
  • Igor Eronko: The KHL would like to raise their salary cap to $40 million, which must be approved by most of the teams.

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Gretzky not interested in Leafs … Free agents Benn, Subban and O’Reilly … “Cup of Hope”

  • Bob McCown via twitter: (tweeted this morning) Gretzky talked to a MLSE board member about the Maple Leafs presidents job. Gretzky not interested.
  • Sportsnet: Nick Kypreos, Damien Cox and Bob McCown talked about Wayne Gretzky becoming the Maple Leafs president on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports.

    “I’ve often thought Wayne Gretzky was coming back to Toronto,” Cox said on Prime Time Sports Wednesday. If you’re Bell and Rogers, who would be better than Wayne Gretzky as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

    “Only chance we see Wayne back in NHL in that type of capacity,” Kypreos told Cox and McCown. “If not, ownership again and I don’t know if he would be interested (in that) with everything he’s gone through with Phoenix.”

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: On talk of Gretzky being Leafs president: “TML presidency one of few jobs in hockey 99 would seriously consider but no direct contact between MLSE and Gretzky camp has been made. There likely was informal 3rd party inquiries – after Bell/Rogers took over Aug but none in last 2 months – and perhaps internal MLSE talks. Bottom line for me: Gretzky would be all ears if MLSE wants to go down that road but nothing tangible with MLSE seems to have taken place.”
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun thinks that Jamie Benn could be the first of P.K. Subban and Ryan O’Reilly to re-sign. Comparables: John Tavares (6 years, $33 million), Evander Kane (6 years, $31.5 million) and Phil Kessel (5  years, $27 million). Benn won’t do 6 years. He’s willing to do 5 years. LeBrun thinks that if the Stars would go a bit higher than Kessel’s contract, a deal would get done. O’Reilly is making good money in Russia, tax-free, so he has that leverage. There has been nothing between Subban and the Canadiens for a while. Subban wants a long term deal, the Canadiens want a 2 year deal. Habs GM Bergevin insists he won’t trade Subban, but LeBrun wonders that if this drags on that he might reconsider.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: Mirtle responds “One rumour: Dallas,” to Bruce Garrioch saying that lots of people are wondering where former Leafs GM Brian Burke will resurface.
  • Slava Malamud via twitter: KHL president Alexander Medvedev announced they will have a “Cup of Hope” playoffs for non-playoff teams. David Pagnotta via twitter: Pagnotta spoke with several KHLers today, and they are not happy with the playoff tournament. Players were never consulted.
  • Randy Miller via twitter: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on burning the first year of 3 for Scott Laughton in a short season: “No. I think about the Flyers. That’s all.”

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Medvedev needs to say less … Connolly to remain in AHL … Sharks defensive pairings … Stars bringing in Modano and Recchi

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: LeBrun thinks that KHL president, Alexander Medvedev should tone down his criticism of the NHL. The NHL hasn’t committed to sending players to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Some of Medvedev’s comments:

    “Not all the people who govern NHL teams have a hockey heart,” Medvedev was quoted as saying in some Russian media reports.

    Their hearts, he added, are made “from another material and has money signs stuck to it.”

    “Several clubs look down on the international aspects of hockey development and think that it’s better to stew in your own stock. They could have released the players without any harm, but greed has strangled them and they didn’t allow it,” Medvedev was quoted as saying.

  • Kevin Kurz via twitter: Defensive pairings at [yesterday's] Sharks camp: Vlasic-Stuart, Murray-Braun, Boyle-Irwin.
  • Josh Rimer via twitter: The Stars will announce on Thursday that Mike Modano and Mark Recchi will be apart of their management team.

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Four big name Russians offered big money to stay in KHL … KHL president Medvedev may challenge CBA

  • Larry Brooks via twitter: Last Friday, Evgeny Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk were preparing a press release that would announce their intention to stay in the KHL regardless. Brooks was told that the four had been promised an immense amount of money (with a guarantee from Putin) to remain in the KHL and not to return to the NHL. The NHLPA was able to talk the four out of issuing the statement. Ovechkin has already returned. Datsyuk has pledged to honor the 2 years of his contract with the Red Wings.
  • Slava Malamud via twitter: KHL president Alexander Medvedev to SportsDaily.ru: The new NHL CBA could be the basis for terminating existing contracts, and some players will stay. Medvedev: “NHL’s opinion of itself is so high… OK, let them get drunk on their greatness. We’ll see how many Euros look our way … Our league will act according to our own and international rules. If players decide to stay, we will help them … (Not going to Sochi) will be a big financial loss for NHL.. If they decide differently, that’s their problem … There is no reason to fear (IIHF’s sanctions against players who decide to stay) … Number of players have either decided to stay or are looking into it.. Can’t divulge their names, will cause speculation … Some players asked their NHL teams to stay for the (KHL) All-Star Game, but were denied. The selfishness is understandable.”
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Bill Daly on Medvedev’s comments about KHL possibly challenging NHL contracts: “We have no response. We will see what happens.”
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: No NHLers are on the KHL all-star rosters that were announced last night. Indication that Kovalchuk and others are on their way back to North America. UPDATE: Slava Malamud via twitter: KHL revised their All-Star rosters, Ilya Kovalchuk is the only NHLer on the roster.
  • Arthur Staple via twitter: “Neil Sheehy adds this: Visnovsky’s wish is to stay in Bratislava. But if the KHL says he can’t stay, he will come and play for #Isles.”

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Nothing Scheduled … Hishon cleared … Varlamov returns … Draft rankings and what could happen with the draft

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: There is still lots of optimism that the season will be saved in early 2013. Dreger is hopeful, but less optimistic.
  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: As of the 24th, no meetings were scheduled between the NHL and NHLPA.

    “We haven’t talked about meetings later this week,” Daly said in an e-mail.  “I guess we will see.”

  • Brad Shade via twitter: Joey Hishon has been cleared to practice after being out 19 months with a concussion.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: McKenzie asked 10 scouts about 2013 draft eligibles. 7 have Nate MacKinnon at number 1, 3 had Seth Jones.  Top 10 rankings: 1. MacKinnon (CAN); 2. Jones (USA); 3. Aleksander Barkov (FIN); 4. Elias Lindholm (SWE); 5. Jonathan Drouin (CAN); 6. Rasmus Ristolainen (FIN); 7. Valeri Nichushkin (RUS); 8. Alex Wennberg (SWE); 9. Jacob De La Rose (SWE); 10. Linus Arnesson (SWE).
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: So what happens to the NHL draft if the season is cancelled?

    “Anybody who says they have a clue, they’re lying,” said Al Murray, Tampa Bay Lightning’s head of amateur scouting.

    Before the 2005 draft, the NHL held a lottery to see who would get the chance to draft Sidney Crosby. It was held 5 weeks after the normal date, and 17 days after the CBA was agreed upon. If there is no CBA during the summer, there could be no draft.

    “There can’t be a draft without a CBA. That’s one of the things collectively bargained,” said former NHL general manager Craig Button, now a draft guru for TSN.

    “The NHL could still implement a draft regardless of having no CBA, but the NHLPA could say no and then everybody’s a free agent. That would be messy. What if they say there’s a bidding situation for the junior players? It’s far-fetched and I don’t think it would happen, but …”

    If a CBA gets done after the season is cancelled, and they do look to hold a draft, they could go with a lottery like they did after the last lockout.

    “If they go on the same format for the lottery, Columbus would have five balls, three of their own and they’ve also got L.A.’s pick (for Jeff Carter) and the Rangers (for Rick Nash). They would be the overwhelming favourite,” said Button.

    The Flames, Wild, Stars, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs and Jets would each have three balls.

  • The Fouth Period: Last Friday the City of Glendale signed a lease agreement with Greg Jamison’s group, Hockey Partners LLC. Jamison now has until Jan. 31st to purchase the team.

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Some morning CBA related notes … KHL cancels their 2 games in Brooklyn

  • Adrian Dater via twitter: Darren Dreger on TSN: “I think that the players (will) blink first. It always comes down to dollars and cents.”
  • Steve Zipay via twitter: If the NHL wipes out the rest of November, 191 games will be cut. That’s 326 of 1,230, 26% of the season.
  • Kevin Gibson via twitter: A 72 game schedule will reduce the players salaries by 12%. A 62 game schedule will reduce player salaries by 24%.
  • Larry Brooks via twitter: “If NHL wipes out Nov, will for punitive purposes only. No reason games can’t start Thanksgiving weekend if agreement is reached within 2 wks”
  • Tim Panaccio via twitter: “NHL pulled its first offer off the table when the Sept. 15 deadline passed, as well. This was expected was it not? Next move? NOV sked … Then after NOV gets wiped out, cancel the Winter Classic next week. Then a new proposal from one side or other …”
  • Kevin Kurz via twitter: Sharks Dan Boyle, “It’s supposed to be a negotiation, and I think right now both sides think it’s their way of the highway.”
  • Helen Elliott via twitter: Elliott thinks there is a deal to be made, but there are no dealmakers to conclude it. “Bettman doesn’t deal, he dictates.”
  • Jason Gregor via twitter: “Why would NHL players care if Winter Classic is cancelled. It is one game. NHL thinking that is a serious threat is idiotic.”
  • Ted Kulfan via twitter: The Red Wings confirmed that if there is no Winter Classic, the downtown festival will not happen.
  • Helene Elliott via twitter: NBA commissioner David Stern on if he’s advised Gary Bettman: “I have a close relationship with Gary. But I would say that the subject of such conversations as we have had is covered by the commissioner-to-commissioner privilege and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment further.”
  • Szymon Szemberg via twitter: The KHL has cancelled the 2 games between Dynamo Moscow and SKA St. Pete that were to be played on January 20th and 21st in Brooklyn. Reason being, the KHL wants 1st and foremost that Russian fans can see the top games and the uncertainty caused by the NHL lockout. Slava Malamud via twitter: Malamud says the KHL’s decision was motivated by finances and internal power struggle within the KHL. A big loss of money for Medvedev. Insiders said that earlier this month there was an attempt to remove Medvedev as KHL president and replace him with Putin crony Rotenberg. The “powers that be” didn’t like the Brooklyn trip and often interfere with Medvedev’s business model. They are afraid it will hurt the national team in Sochi.

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More players heading overseas … Ladd not going to KHL anymore … Bergenheim injured

  • Chris Johnston via twitter: Michael Grabner to play with Villacher SV in Austria, his hometown. 5 sponsors are covering the bill.
  • CSN Bay Area: Joe Pavelski will be joining Dinamo Minsk early next week.
  • Matias Strozyk via twitter: Sean Bergenheim suffered a lower body injury with HIFK and is returning to North America after 2 games. Bergenheim is on a game by game contract, a small chance he returns.

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NHL-NHLPA to talk HRR … NHL considering replacement players? NHL wants NHLPA proposal … KHL on ESPN3

  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: The NHL and NHLPA will meet today and will attempt to clarify the definition of Hockey Related Revenue. Several people who have been briefed on the subject, say that the league has looked to introduce clarifications favorable to the owners bottom line.

    “Over the weekend, they just wanted to put more peanuts in their pockets,” the player told The Post.

    Regular season games are expected to start being cancelled in 2 week blocks in the next day or two. Martin Biron on proposals,

    “It’s not like they get a turn, now we get a turn, and so on. What we’d like as players and what I would like is to be able to have a discussion with them where the league explains its ideas within a broader spectrum, and how this CBA is going to solve the problems and help the NHL grow. We think what we’ve proposed as far as the cap and revenue sharing accomplishes those goals.”

  • Josh Rimer of NSSRadioTV: (starting at around 9 minutes. Worth listening too.) Bill Waters talks about the CBA negotiations, and brings up that the NHL could consider replacement players. Some veterans on their last contract might look at crossing. If the lockout lasts the year, Bettman is likely gone.
  • Josh Rimer via twitter: Rimer has been told by an NHL player that the NHL wants a proposal from the NHLPA this week, but at this time, none isn’t planned. The NHLPA doesn’t feel the NHL have offered anything back to the players, so they won’t give a proposal.
  • Adam Proteau via twitter: Two sources have said if the lockout lasts the entire season, the NHLPA could pull the salary cap off the table.  Another source said the 2 chief drivers of the NHLs all-or-nothing demands are Gary Bettman and Jeremy Jacobs.
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: The KHL will be broadcasting some games on ESPN3. Some upcoming games are Dynamo – Ak Bars (10/3), Lev – SKA (10/6), Slovan – Dynamo (10/7), CSKA – SKA (10/8), Lev – Dynamo (10/9).

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Yakupov played 2 games without transfer card … Russian Federation has 7 days to appeal

  • Dan Tencer via twitter: Tencer doesn’t believe the Oilers are involved. They knew Yakupov would be going to the KHL.

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Wings get big fine … Leafs have assets to get Luongo deal done … Coyotes player update … Some overseas notes

  • TSN: The Red Wings organization has been fined in the neighborhood of $250,000 for comments made by senior VP Jim Devellano in an interview with Island Sports News.

    “It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this,” said Devellano. “The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

    “Yes, they are billionaires,” Devellano said. “Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad tradeoff for a guy like (Milan) Lucic getting what, $6 million a year? I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand, though, that these players want for nothing … it’s first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang.”

  • Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province:  Roberto Luongo may have come to the realization that getting to traded back to Florida is “hanging on by a thread, if at all.” The Maple Leafs have already made a solid offer for Luongo, and when Canucks GM Mike Gillis was asked about the deal, he said “there were several assets the Buds have which can get it done.” Before the CBA expired, there were reports that a mystery team or 2 may have entered the Luongo sweepstakes. The Oilers were mentioned as one team that could be interested. Nikolai Khabibulin may retire if the season is wiped out. Devan Dubnyk has improved, but is not a sure thing as a #1.
  • Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic: Coyotes Oliver Ekman-Larsson is expected to head to their AHL training camp this Friday. Keith Yandle is skating in Boston, and plans to stay there for the time being. Yandle on playing overseas, “I’m not sure,” he said. “I haven’t really even thought about that too much, to be honest. Right now I’m preparing as if the season will start.” What other Coyotes are thinking. David Moss will be staying Phoenix for the time being. Antoine Vermette will stay for a bit, but may join the traveling league in Quebec that some NHLers are trying to put together. David Schlemko isn’t sure about Europe and will wait until mid-late October to decide on anything. Raffi Torres is undecided. Derek Morris is unsure. Zbynek Michalek is considering Europe. Martin Hanzal has a couple options with Czech and other European teams. Mike Smith and his pregnant wife don’t have a problem with going to Europe. Boyd Gordon would consider playing in Europe. Paul Bissonnette will stay. Steve Sullivan doesn’t want to leave his family. Shane Doan isn’t sold on leaving.
  • The Fourth Period: Steven Stamkos’ agent, Mark Guy, confirmed that Stamkos “has been contacted by many teams,” but is not close to making a decision. HC Lugano of the Swiss National League A League is one of the teams that is reportedly interested in Stamkos.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: There have been no goalies to head overseas, and it may be hard for them to find work. Henrik Lundqvist should be joining Frolunda. Senators Craig Anderson will have to be patient.

    “It’s not just a matter of finding a job … it’s a matter of finding a job and making sure that the player is protected now and in the future,” Anderson’s agent, Justin Duberman, said from his Chicago office Saturday.

    “There is a lot of risk in going over. There’s a lot of great things about going over as well from a hockey standpoint, but you have to make sure you protect yourself from an insurance standpoint to make sure it’s a great opportunity.”

  • Adrian Dater via Sulia: Players may not be in a rush to make a deal as their escrow checks are coming, 8% of their base salary from last year. Average checks will be about $163,000.
  • Slava Malamud via twitter: “There is no way, kids, that Crosby is coming to the KHL. Not with teams like Vityaz roaming around, specializing on injuring opposing stars.”… “The KHL can and will protect Russian NHLers against goons, but Crosby? If anything, Sid-hunting will be encouraged. No reason for him to go.” … “Guys like Shea Weber (big, scary D-man) and Patrick Kane (you know, vodka) would be welcome and do well in KHL. But finesse stars, stay away.”

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